Sunday, August 23, 2009

Donsa's Beef Enchiladas

This meal is a special one in our family because it was Cory's Mom's specialty. We make this often, but we make a special point of having it for her birthday which is Aug 24th. With tomorrow being the first day of school, we decided to do it today to be able to savor it. She passed away in March of 1998 and we miss her very much. We know that she watches over our family, especially our children since she wanted more than anything to be a Grandma.
Happy Birthday Donsa!!
*This recipe really isn't as complicated as it looks. The tomato sauce can easily be made ahead of time.

Donsa's Beef Enchiladas

Meat Filling:
2 lbs ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed, then put the beans back into the can and refill with water. (or you can add the beans undrained, just be sure to have everyone take a Beano before they eat for the health of all the people around you!) :-)

Tomato Sauce:
3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
1 lg. can (29 oz) Tomato Puree
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 beef bouillon cube (I like the knorr brand)
1 cup hot water, heated in the microwave
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
dash of ground cumin (about 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt
dash of fresh pepper (about 6 grinds)

8-10 burrito size flour tortillas
1 lb grated cheese (cheddar or colby jack)

To Prepare the Meat Filling:
Brown the ground beef, drain. Add the garlic and saute until you can smell the garlic. Then add the salt mixed with the chili powder. Add the vinegar and water. Then stir in the drained kidney beans. Set aside.

To make the Tomato Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, add the canola oil and the onions. Saute until translucent. Add garlic. When you can smell the garlic, add the flour. Stir to combine. Turn off the burner and add the tomato puree. Add the bouillon cube to the water and mix well, then add to the tomato mixture. Add the vinegar, green chilies and spices. Turn on the burner and heat through.

We add 2-3 ladles of the sauce to stir into the meat filling. We think it is yummy that way, but you don't have to do that.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 350.
Grate the cheese. Spray a 15x10 inch pan with nonstick spray. (if you want to use a 9x13 inch pan, get the smaller size tortillas instead of the burrito size. Put the meat into the tortilla, and add cheese to your preference. Roll up. Place in the pan, with the tortilla seam down (so it doesn't unravel). Repeat until the pan is filled. Top with the tomato sauce and remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

*to make this recipe gluten free...use corn tortillas instead of flour, and use gluten free flour for the tomato sauce to help the sauce thicken.
*for people who can't have milk products, this recipe still tastes great without the cheese!

This recipe is adapted from the McCalls Cook Book.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cheesy Focaccia Bread

Cheesy Focaccia Bread

1 package refrigerated pizza crust
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese ( I actually like to do both)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (or crumbled fresh mozzarella)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 Roma tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out pizza crust to fit a rectangular sheet pan. Spread garlic over crust. Use half the Romano/Parmesan cheese over the garlic then top with mozzarella and oregano. Finish with the remaining Romano/Parmesan Cheese with a little more oregano. Bake for 20-26 minutes. Top with fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from Pampered Chef's Fantastic Focaccia Bread. I just put the tomatoes on after it is baked instead of before. I think that the flavor is better, but feel free to try it both ways. (They suggest that you do 1/2 of the Romano then 1/2 mozzarella then 1/2 the oregano. Then the tomatoes, the rest of the Romano, the rest of the mozzarella, oregano.) It is a nice summer dinner with garden fresh tomatoes available with a cool green salad on the side.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wicked Good Peanut Butter Bars

I'm sorry.... I've been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to give an accurate name to these "you-are-so-good-you-are-trouble" peanut butter bars we made recently. I'm pretty disciplined when it comes to watching what I eat, but I lost *all* control with these babies! Should I open this Pandora's box and unleash its power on you? Hey -- if I have to suffer, I want company. So here's the recipe. I dare you to stop at one bar. Good luck.
Makeover Peanut Butter Bars
5 points per bar (including the PB layer AND the frosting. oh yeah.)
1 3/4 cups reduced-fat creamy peanut butter, divided
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup peanut butter, the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be thick).

2. Spread into a 15x10 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° F for 18 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; spread with remaining peanut butter. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat frosting ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Cut into bars.

picture credit: Healthy Cooking magazine, June/July 2009 issue, p. 26
original recipe: Lori Stevens

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jason's opinion

This is Jason trying to make himself feel better since he couldn't have any pie. He misses y'all!

Black Bottom Berry Pie

.What is better than chocolate and raspberries??!!! Shauna had put this recipe in the family cookbook, and I wanted to remind everyone how fabulous it is since it is raspberry season. It is one of our family's summer favorites.
Black Bottom Berry Pie
1 prepared Keebler Shortbread pie crust
8 oz good quality milk chocolate pieces
3 Tbsp milk
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries or raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted (for garnish)
.Melt chocolate with milk in microwave (I do 1 minute, then do 20 second intervals at 50% power). Stir until chocolate is well incorporated and smooth. Pour into the Shortbread pie crust and chill until firm (about 1 hour). Beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Evenly coat the chocolate layer. Place washed berries, stem side down close together, on the cream cheese layer. Warm the seedless jam in the microwave and drizzle over the fruit. As a garnish, melt the semi-sweet chocolate and drizzle over fruit in thin threads. (you can use a zip-lock bag then cut the very tip off of one of the corners if you don't have a piping bag) Chill pie for 2 hours to give it time to firm up. (You can use Guitard Chocolate Chips 1 1/2 cups for the bottom layer..they melt very smooth. You can't get them in Vegas though. I always stock up when I go to Utah at Maceys.)